Gary Patton on Environmental Activism

I speak with Gary Patton about environmental activism and how to make a difference.  Gary is an environmentalist extraordinaire: he was elected to the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors when he was 29 years old and has fought for many important issues since then as a political representative, environmental attorney, and educator.   He publishes a blog and radio podcast, and is unafraid to think Big Ideas.  We talk about the importance of local politics and community activism, whether it’s best to create change from within or without, and how to engage more people in the political process.  Have a listen.

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Nick Caleb on Atmospheric Trust Litigation

Claire and I spoke with Nick Caleb of Our Children’s Trust about youth suing governments for not addressing climate change.  The legal theory is called the Public Trust Doctrine, which holds that certain natural resources are public and must be protected.  The doctrine is generally accepted in contexts such as rivers and navigable waters, and Nick and his colleagues want courts to apply it to the atmosphere.  We talk about the strategy of using kids as plaintiffs, the difficulty for judges in deciding a “political issue,” and how cutting edge legal campaigns such as this one can create social change.